District Events & Meetings Recap

2019 Recap: Ohio’s District Meetings Focused on Women’s Economic Security

The Northwest District met on Saturday March 2, 2019  at the Bowling Green Country Club for a day about women: Debt and the Pay Gap, the changing ideas of gender and literature over time and women’s anger, and rounding out the day, Negotiate, Negotiate!  The event began at 9:15 am with registration and breakfast. Anna Brogan-Knight’s humor held attention to details of the causes of high student debt and who has it.  Susan Shelangoskie led off the afternoon with a session titled, Women’s anger doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Interaction and experiences gave NW members pause to think before they launched into Negotiate, Negotiate with Angela Clark-Taylor. Angela urged us to always negotiate. She guided the group through parts of the Work Smart Online Workbook and urged everyone to use it and work through the Work Smart Online tool.  Branch Diversity Awards were presented to Bowling Green and Toledo. Bowling Green was mentioned for having more than four mission-oriented programs this year, and Bowling Green and Findlay received Starz Awards.  Attendees had time to meet other and to discuss current issues and news during lunch. One member called it a day to recharge!

Anna Brogan-Knight spoke about student debt

Clockwise from upper left: Susan Shelanoskie speaker on Anger and Women’s Rolls, with Angela Clark-Taylor, who urged Negotiate, Negotiate; Gail Conrad receiving Toledo Branch’s Diversity Award, Michelle Chronister of Bowling Green Branch receiving her branch’s Diversity Award from Nancy Stellhorn, AAUW Ohio President

Central District gathered on Saturday March 16, 2019 to learn what career education in public schools looks like today.  Their target was to increase career paths and options and to reduce the burden of student debt. Cassie Palsgrove from the Ohio Department of Education used the Strategic Plan for Education 2019-2024 and Successbound.ohio.com materials to illustrate points.

  • Each school district must have a policy to make a student success plan for each sixth-grade student who is at risk of dropping out
  •  Students must research and evaluate prospects for job hiring and must build a coalition of three people to guide and mentor them.

The group then chose between two sessions: more from Cassie or join Andrea Townsend to learn about Equity and Access in Career Technical Education and how schools work with Ohioans with disabilities. Andrea’s second session covered graduation requirements and how students can graduate.

Other sites to visit are ohiomeansjobs.com and askjan.org.

Southwest District drew a large audience on March 23, 2019 to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 201 North Limestone St., in Springfield, Ohio.  After a light breakfast, they began the day with Women in Debt/ Student Debt led by Rush Rogers, AAUW Ohio Public Policy Co-Chair. Sad, but true, only 7% of women negotiate their salary, so it isn’t hard to see why AAUW wants to change that and help improve pay equity.  Molly Helmlinger, of the Sidney-Shelby County AAUW branch, summarized  AAUW’s Work Smart negotiation training program and illustrated with her experiences as superintendent of various school districts in the country

Katie McNeil, Chair of University Relations for Middletown AAUW, Michelle Abrams, President Mason-Lebanon County, and Robin Becker, Middletown Public Policy Chair, presented Title IX updates and their meeting with the Title IX coordinator at Miami University. One outcome was the realization that students should begin college with some understanding of harrassment. The branch plans to continue to work with the university on Title IX.

Elaine Nischwitz reported on technical and business student experiences and financial literacy.  Carolyn Smith introduced lunch table directed discussions on Advocacy and Financial Literacy. JoAnn Benseler outlined Starz Awards. Middletown AAUW received Communications Awards in the large-branch division, presented by AAUW Ohio President, Nancy Stellhorn,  for best newsletter and the best website.

Northeast District and guests met April 27, 2019 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Center, 4490 Norquest Boulevard in Austintown, near Youngstown.  Financial advisor Deanna Marchionda of Transamerica Financial outlined financial planning tactics using examples of ways to solve financial difficulties and advance a life plan. A demonstration of AAUW’s Work Smart, the free negotiation tool, was shortened and modified from the planned demo due to program updates. Attendees shared how their branches use the Start Smart and Work Smart training. One branch member is a trained leader; another branch finances a workshop at a nearby college.  Reports on topics assigned for lunch discussion generated some new ideas for inclusion, such as activities for dads and daughters designed to bring in men members, inter-generational topics with mission first would attract younger people if done in comfortable, informal settings.

Warren City Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold urged attendees to vote in 2020 and to become involved in the election. Jorine Stone rounded out the afternoon with a report of Ohio legislative action to watch.  Branch awards recognized Heights-Hillcrest-Lyndhurst, Median County, wooster, and Youngstown for inclusive programming; Medina County and Wooster for large-branch newsletters, and Heights-Hillcrest-Lyndhurst for mid-size branch newsletters. Starz award went to Wooster; Honors awards were earned by Cleveland, Heights-Hillcrest-Lyndhurst, Medina County and Warren-Trumbull County.

The Southeast District event, Harnessing Personal Power through Financial Decision Making met at Ohio University in Athens,  010 Computer Service Center, 113 Grosvenor St.   Keynote speaker Michelle Wilson addressed the topic Women’s Socially Responsible Investment. After lunch an intergenerational panel discussion extended the topic and explored how financial decision-making can pair with gender equity and women’s empowerment.


District Event Dates and Coordinators

Central District Event March 16, 2019               Coordinator, Jo Glenaman

Northeast District Event April 27, 2019              Contact, Leah Sakacs

Northwest District Event March 2, 2019            Coordinator, Michelle Radtkin

Southeast District Event postponed                   Co-coordinators: Marlene De La Cruz and Tara Stowe

Southwest District Event March 23, 2019          Co-coordinators: Elaine Nishwitz and Carolyn Smith